The Long Way Home: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel… A Louise Penny Masterpiece #Mystery #BookReview

A #1 New York Times Bestseller, Louise Penny’s The Long Way Home is an intriguing Chief Inspector Gamache Novel.

Happily retired in the village of Three Pines, Armand Gamache, former Chief Inspector of Homicide with the Sûreté du Québec, has found a peace he’d only imagined possible. On warm summer mornings he sits on a bench holding a small book, The Balm in Gilead, in his large hands. “There is a balm in Gilead,” his neighbor Clara Morrow reads from the dust jacket, “to make the wounded whole.”

While Gamache doesn’t talk about his wounds and his balm, Clara tells him about hers. Peter, her artist husband, has failed to come home. Failed to show up as promised on the first anniversary of their separation. She wants Gamache’s help to find him. Having finally found sanctuary, Gamache feels a near revulsion at the thought of leaving Three Pines. “There’s power enough in Heaven,” he finishes the quote as he contemplates the quiet village, “to cure a sin-sick soul.” And then he gets up. And joins her.

Together with his former second-in-command, Jean-Guy Beauvoir, and Myrna Landers, they journey deeper and deeper into Québec. And deeper and deeper into the soul of Peter Morrow. A man so desperate to recapture his fame as an artist, he would sell that soul. And may have. The journey takes them further and further from Three Pines, to the very mouth of the great St. Lawrence river. To an area so desolate, so damned, the first mariners called it the land God gave to Cain. And there they discover the terrible damage done by a sin-sick soul.


LOUISE PENNY is the #1 New York Times and Globe and Mail bestselling author of the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache novels. She has won numerous awards, including a CWA Dagger and the Agatha Award (five times) and was a finalist for the Edgar Award for Best Novel. She lives in a small village south of Montréal.

Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh on

My Review

Strangely Fascinating!

Armand Gamache would like to lay the past to rest and enjoy his retirement in the picturesque Quebec village of Three Pines with its cast of eccentric characters, but a mystery compels him to help an old friend.

Clara Morrow loves her husband, even though his jealousy is driving them apart. Not of another man, but because of her newfound fame as an artist. Clara suggests a one year separation to rethink their relationship and is distraught when he doesn’t return on their anniversary as he promised. She asks Gamache for help and though he almost fears leaving the safe haven of Three Pines, he enlists the help of his son-in-law and former second in command to retrace Peter’s footsteps.

What follows is a slightly strange and yet meaningful journey that winds up on the shores of the St. Lawrence River in what mariners called the land God gave to Cain.

I love how the author brings us full circle from what seems like something innocuous to a dramatic ending.

Favorite Lines

Turmoil shook loose all sorts of unpleasant truths. But it took peace to examine them.

Penny, Louise. The Long Way Home: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel (A Chief Inspector Gamache Mystery Book 10) (p. 4). St. Martin’s Press. Kindle Edition.

After spending most of her life scanning the horizon for slights and threats, genuine and imagined, she knew the real threat to her happiness came not from the dot in the distance, but from looking for it. Expecting it. Waiting for it. And in some cases, creating it. Her father had jokingly accused her of living in the wreckage of her future.

Penny, Louise. The Long Way Home: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel (A Chief Inspector Gamache Mystery Book 10) (pp. 22-23). St. Martin’s Press. Kindle Edition.

This painting flouted all the rules of art and most of the rules of common courtesy. It was a bad smell tacked to the wall.

Penny, Louise. The Long Way Home: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel (A Chief Inspector Gamache Mystery Book 10) (p. 83). St. Martin’s Press. Kindle Edition.

“A poem begins as a lump in the throat,” said Armand Gamache as he took a seat on one of Ruth’s white preformed chairs. “You make it sound like a fur ball,” said Ruth.

Penny, Louise. The Long Way Home: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel (A Chief Inspector Gamache Mystery Book 10) (p. 151). St. Martin’s Press. Kindle Edition.

I had to add the last one- I love Ruth 🙂

I give The Long Way Home 5 lovely kisses- A Haunting Masterpiece!

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  1. This sounds quite different from a usual romance, Jacquie. Quite creepy. A lovely review.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The author does a superb job with scene setting, Robbie. When I read her books, I feel like I’m there, whether it’s Montreal or the fictional village of Three Pines. 🙂


  2. I read A Great Reckoning and thought it was very good. Louise Penny writes some great stories!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agreed! This series is so good!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Staci Troilo says:

    It sounds like a hauntingly beautiful story. And I love the pull quotes you selected.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s a totally unexpected twist at the end I didn’t expect!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. iScriblr says:

    Sounds great!😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Her books are fantastic and can be read as standalones, Richa 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Teri Polen says:

    I haven’t read this author before, but those excerpts are intriguing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She has a unique voice, Teri. I think you’d enjoy these books!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This sounds delightful. What a great line–about turmoil and peace. I will have to borrow it in the future (with credit, of course)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love her writing style 🙂


  7. Sounds like a good love story blossoming romance.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No, romance takes a backseat with this series, MIchele. It’s more about the Sûreté du Québec and the chief inspector. Police procedural stories.


  8. Mae Clair says:

    A number of Louise Penny’s books have attracted me. I really need to catch up with her books on Armand Gamache. The lines you chose to share are awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Everytime they come on sale through Bookbub I scoop another one up, lol

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Darlene says:

    Louise Penny is a great writer. I heard her speak once in Vancouver and she is a very lovely person. She based her character, Chief Inspector Gamache, on her own dear husband who passed away recently. Some awesome quotes from the book. Thanks, Jacquie.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d love to hear her speak! I watched an interview on FB with her once and she seems grounded. Her love bothe for Quebec and her husband shines in her work ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Jodie Esch says:

    I’m a big fan. I love her novels!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She’s so talented! Have you read many, Jodie? This is about my fifth, I think 🙂


  11. Fab review, Jacquie! I’ve only read a couple from this series and loved them! I need to get back on track! ♥️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love her turns of phrase, Jennifer. She makes me want to visit Quebec 🙂


    1. Thanks for the mention!


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